December 31, 2009

WEST CHICAGO - Libertyville resident Donna Riemer was recently declared a love bug by Fox Valley Volkswagen West Chicago.

Riemer was entered into the car dealerships "Love Bug Contest" by longtime friend Suzanne Slade.

"It was nice to see someone who has given so much to so many people receive something," Slade said of her friend's win.

Sharing love
Slade entered Riemer in the contest after seeing a billboard advertising it on the highway. She was required to write a 1,000-character essay on why Riemer deserved to win.

Slade titled the essay "Lots of Love to Share," which read: "Donna Riemer has faced many difficult situations, but every time she has shared her extraordinary love for others. This November she has been married to her high school sweetheart, Kerry, for 25 years. Kerry had a diving accident before they were married which left him confined to a wheelchair with minimum use of his arms. She has cared for his needs and their love has grown.

"They adopted two children, Faith, now 22, and Billy, now 17. Both had a recent desire to find their birth mothers, so Donna helped them make those contacts. Billy's birthmother, only 51, was living in a cramped nursing home with no family support. With the help of friends and her church's women's ministry, they set Billy's birthmother up in her own apartment and supplied her with her every need. There are many more stories of Donna's love, but not enough words left to share them all! (But it would be incredible for Donna to get her first new car. Her husband bought her a 1969 VW bug many years ago.)"

The "Love Bug Contest" began in June and received 130 entries and more than 45,000 votes. Each month three winners were selected to receive a prize and entered to win the grand prize, a new red Volkswagen Beetle. Riemer and Madison Hanna of Geneva were the top-two vote getters. On Dec. 19, Riemer was handed the keys to the brand new vehicle.

Riemer, who has never had a new car in her life, was humbled by the whole experience.

"I think I was more excited by the excitement of other people," Riemer said, adding her friends and family launched a word-of-mouth campaign to help her win the car.

Having a new vehicle is a blessing, especially since it will allow the Riemers to keep their handicapped van in the garage and only use it when they really need it. Riemer has been driving it as her daily car and as a pastor at Alpine Chapel in Libertyville, has put a lot of miles on it.

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